Foreword - Councillor Sandhu

Cllr.  Dr Kindy Sandhu
Cllr. Dr Kindy Sandhu

I am proud to launch our first ever Citywide Skills Strategy which provides a ‘framework for action’ across all educational stages working collaboratively to get the best skills outcomes for our residents, from early education through to lifelong adult learning.

In the decade between 2010 and 2019 Coventry achieved great economic growth and reduced inequalities. Coventry made significant progress in driving down unemployment - particularly youth unemployment which since 2015 has remained well below the national averages. Coventry’s flagship Job Shop has supported over 1000 residents each year into employment and the model has been replicated by other Local Authorities. Coventry’s successes were reflected in the securing of City of Culture 2021 as well as acting as host venue for the 2022 Commonwealth Games and the International Children’s Games. Coventry significantly raised its skill levels, and its school Ofsted results with 92% of primary schools and 86% of secondary schools now rated as good or outstanding.

Unfortunately, the combined impacts of Brexit and the COVID-19 pandemic have presented many new challenges to Coventry’s economy and the city’s businesses and residents. We have now entered a cost-of-living crisis which is putting significant pressure on household budgets and presenting a growing challenge of in-work poverty. Building on the publication of our One Coventry Plan 2022 – 2030 priorities, the Skills Strategy is very timely. It supports an increase to the economic prosperity of the city in ensuring that businesses have the right skills to grow. It tackles inequalities by making sure skills provision is equally accessed by all Coventry’s communities, with our residents gaining the skills they need to secure good employment and progress within it. Finally, the Skills Strategy plays a key role in tackling the causes and consequences of climate change by ensuring residents gain the right skills to support green jobs growth.